The crisis resulting from the spread of COVID-19 implies a challenge on a global scale. Economic projections already indicate a decline in different regions around the world, with particular vulnerability for Latin America.
In this adverse context, different spaces are being opened for dialog and debate, to generate agreements that can guide the economic and social recovery along a sustainable path.
In order to foster these spaces for exchange, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH accompanied WRI Mexico in the initiative “Sustainable Revolution: Dialogues for Recovery, Resilience, and Equity”. Other accompanying allies include the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Climate Initiative of Mexico (ICM), and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Every week between June 9 and July 15, the initiative has a different thematic focus (such as cities, mobility, forests, energy, and green financing), offering a space for an exchange through high-level panels, multi-stakeholder tables, and webinars.
At the opening event on June 9, the WRI executive director, Adriana Lobo, announced that a roadmap will be published at the end of the work sessions, with inclusive solutions for all sectors of society.
‘The objective of this initiative is to activate multisectoral dialog to identify priority issues and possible agreed lines of a solution, through a digital offering of top-level panels, talks, and sector tables, which allow us to position and promote processes to transit to environmentally friendly, resilient, and equitable economies.’ – Adriana Lobo, Executive Director of WWF.
From GIZ Mexico, the importance of the climate crisis and the need to join efforts to reconcile the economic with the environmental agenda was emphasized. Also, the following areas of collaboration were anticipated: resilient cities, mobility, energy, biodiversity, green financing, and collaboration with sub-national governments.
‘At GIZ, we want to contribute to these issues, and we are also very willing to listen and learn from our partners, as well as participants. It is important to come up with an overview that can guide Mexico’s green recovery’ – Dennis Quennet, director of GIZ’s Cities, Transport and Industry programs.
In the first prestigious panel, which took place following the inauguration, reflections were shared on the global challenge implied by the current economic, social, and environmental crisis. From the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Martha Delgado Peralta, Under-Secretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, stressed the importance of linking gender issues to environmental issues and focusing on the well-being of communities in the recovery from the crisis.
Then ECLAC’s executive secretary, Alicia Bárcena, highlighted how the crisis caused by COVID-19 has revealed a series of structural problems in the current economic model in Latin America today. She stated: ‘We must prioritize sectors with great impetus for sustainability: clean energy, development of the links between water/soil / biodiversity, digital connectivity and electric public transport, health and mobility infrastructure, and the care economy’
The second high-level panel of the conference focused on the specific challenges faced by Latin America in this context. Within this framework, Iván González Márquez, from the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), stressed the need to tackle the climate crisis with concrete measures. He explained that a holistic transition model is being proposed by the dependency, involving not only the government but also sectors of civil society. It includes seven environmental transitions: forest, agroecological and fishing, water, energy, biocultural, urban-industrial, educational and citizen-based, and environmental justice and governance.
At the end of each panel, there was an opening for questions from the public, with citizen participation encouraged. To review the agenda for the coming weeks, you can consult the official website of WRI Mexico. The next online event will take place on June 15 within the framework of Cities Week, with the theme: “Urban Inequality and Air Quality during the Pandemic: Emerging Social and Economic Challenges.”